CHINA - An increasing number of young Chinese women have been arranging to have photographs taken of them nude.
Cattleya, a studio in Chongqing, China, caters to such a market and is already booked out until the end of the year.
"We have served over 5,000 customers from across the country. Some even fly here from Beijing and Hong Kong," the studio's co-founder Lu Miaoting told the Global Times.
The studio began four years ago with less than 10 employees. Now, it employs 38 people, all women, who have to work six days a week to meet demand. They get about 10 customers a day.
It is just one of the many studios in Chongqing alone, and there are thousands more countrywide.
Customers tend to be women in their 30s and 20s who wish to keep photos that capture their youth or pregnancy.
Most sociologists and art critics see the trend as a form of social progress and liberation.
Unlike the classical nude in the Western tradition, nudes in the Chinese artistic tradition were traditionally limited to chiefly erotic works. But concepts are changing.
Miss Luo Nana, 21, a saleswoman for a company that sells wedding dresses in Guangzhou, took a series of body art photos last September. She said the album will help her remember her youth.